Thursday, April 30, 2009

Well read

The book club I'm in has an awesome practice of showering its mothers-to-be with baby books. My turn came last night when I hosted the group for this month. I got some great books from friends in the group, including Where the Wild Things Are, Alphabet Soup, Chicken with Rice and I am a little panda.
Some of the titles are new to me, but I'm very excited to share them with the baby after looking through the beautiful pictures and stories. Thanks so much for starting our baby's library, ladies!
Of course, Brian and I also have our own favorite childhood storybooks that we're looking forward to registering for or purchasing. I hope that reading will be a big part of our daily routine with the baby, from early on.

In other news, I'm now in week 25 and the papaya has grown to the size of an eggplant! He or she will soon top the scales at 2 lbs... which doesn't quite account for the rest of the weight I've put on ;) Also new this week, is that Brian is supposed to be able to hear the baby's heartbeat just by putting his ear to my belly. We're going to try it out tonight and I'll report back!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The good, the bad and the odd

There are many odd moments that arise during pregnancy. For example, after a trip to the gym this morning I congratulated Brian on dropping more pounds and then he congratulated me for gaining some.
Here are some other pros and cons of pregnancy that I've noticed so far.

The good:
• Having ice cream elevated to a food group in my diet
• Pants with stretchy waistbands
• People getting things for me
• I think I'll have my first dessert of the day...
• Getting new clothes
• Bigger boobs
• Getting congratulated on the baby
• Registering for and getting donations of cool baby stuff
• Having an excuse to rest/sleep in
• Feeling the baby kick and move
• Becoming a mom!

The bad:
• Constant trips to the bathroom
• Not being able to see my feet (easily)
• Having to rely on people to get things for me
• Just got back from the bathroom... I think I'll go again
• Missing my skinny jeans
• Swelling that makes it look like I have cankles. Gross!
• Getting asked if I'm carrying twins... at the 18 week mark
• Trying to figure out bottle nipples, breast pumps and other baby stuff I don't even recognize
• Slowing down and being tired all the time
• Dealing with crazy mood swings
• Worrying about becoming a mom!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bad sleep

While I've had lots of weird dreams during the pregnancy, last night I had a dream that really unnerved me.
In my dream I was out with friends and drinking heavily. I clearly knew I was pregnant, because I passed on a Jack and coke drink at one point because I wasn't supposed to be drinking caffeine... how responsible.
I woke up feeling like the worst mother ever, even though I haven't technically screwed up yet! I'm guessing this dream just means I'm stressed and nervous about parenthood.
In our car-ride time this past weekend (traveling to and from Rockford for a work weekend) I talked to Brian about some nerves I'm having. It's not only the daunting task of having someone depend on me 24/7 that worries me. I'm also a little sad to feel like Brian and I are leaving behind our "us" time forever — or at least for many years.
But when I think of how much fun we're going to have as a family, I don't stay down for long. Yes, we're going to have a totally different lifestyle. Trips to wineries will be replaced by trips to the park, children's museum or zoo. Those plans excite me, too!
But as the due date inches closer, the realities of becoming a mom are settling in. And I just wonder sometimes if I'm up for the job.
For now, I'm just hoping for some calmer dreams the next few nights... maybe about something more relaxing like bathroom remodeling or work deadlines. ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


That's what my head is doing today. The size of the project Brian and I undertook in the bathroom is starting to catch up with us.
I guess it's because we're pretty much done with the tear-down and now we need to start rebuilding.
And our work being done through the contractor ended today. He re-routed the plumbing and set our tub... but now the rest is up to us. Here's a look at work over the past couple days, our new tub and the awesome electrical work Dan did for us:
I have faith that Brian and I can chip away at this project over time and get it done. But it is a big project doing a whole host of jobs neither of us have ever done. A little daunting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dreams explained

I have had some extra crazy dreams during the pregnancy so far. I wrote a while back about having two dreams where the "baby" turned out to be a puppy... and I felt pretty silly about sharing that until I read this dreams article from

During the second trimester, a pregnant woman's dreams contain animals that are more baby-like, such as pups, chicks, and kittens. Depending upon her attitude toward the pregnancy, her mate, and her situation, the animal may be either threatening or lovable.
The presence of friendly animals — rare and charming creatures in dreams — is generally thought to represent a good relationship between the dreamer and his or her instincts. In the dreams of many pregnant women, animals are frequently cuddly and cute. You may find that the animals in your dreams develop from sea creature to land mammal, repeating the journey of primeval ancestors; at other times you may find you dream of your unborn child directly. Your feeling about the animal or baby reveals something about your attitude at the time of the dream.

So I guess I'm normal — even if my dreams don't seem like it!

6 months

I'm very excited to hit the 24 week — six month — milestone today! The baby is still papaya-sized, but is expected to gain about 6 ounces just this week.
I'm definitely feeling the added weight these days. It's not just the actual poundage (is that a real word?) but the awkwardness of having this big belly stick out in front. Sitting or laying down — and getting back up again — is much more work than it should be. And when Brian and I spent five hours on Sunday running to home centers and doing other errands, it totally wiped me out. Not too impressive from someone who did a half marathon a couple weeks ago. I'm amazed at the difference a couple weeks has made.
It's probably not helping that I feel a cold coming on. There's been some illness circulating in our office for a couple weeks, and I may be the latest victim. I thought the sore throat was just from demo dust in our house in recent days, but I can tell it's getting progressively worse. Not cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Belly pics

I'm not someone who would normally allow pictures of my belly — pregnant or not! But I've been told that I'll appreciate the pictures later on. I'm guessing in a few months I'll enjoy looking back at how "small" I was :)
So here are some pictures of the baby bump from last week:

Not too much else to report right now. The baby is certainly growing and staying active. I'm feeling stronger kicks all the time. And there are some weird movements I feel every so often, which I'm assuming is from the baby doing full flips or something like that. It's nuts — and awesome!

Long weekend

We made a lot of progress on the bathroom project this weekend. Though I'm using the term "we" somewhat losely.

Brian and I did some pre-demo work together last week. But when the sledgehammer had to hit the walls this weekend, me and baby were pretty much banned from the worksite. I wanted to get in there and help, but it just wasn't a good idea with all the dust and whoknowswhatelse in the air of the small bathroom space. Even Brian and Dan, who were wearing face masks during demo, had lung troubles by the end of Saturday because of all the stuff they inhaled. Probably not good for the papaya.

They did such a great job tearing the room apart. Brian and I are SOOO grateful to Dan, Jen and Mason for making the trip down to Lafayette for a working weekend visit!
We've now got it mostly gutted and are planning to get the new tub put in later this week. Here are some pics from the work:

Friday, April 17, 2009

New project

If rage were one of the pregnancy hormones I was dealing with, I'd have a good outlet this week. Brian and I just launched into a total demolition of our upstairs bathroom. It seemed like a good project to undertake at almost six months pregnant... Well, it's certainly better than doing it any later :)
We need to tear out one of the walls to fix a leaking problem. But while we're at it, we've decided to modernize the whole bathroom and hopefully help with resale value. We're gutting the walls down to the studs, tearing up the floor and replacing the tub. The past couple nights we tore up the carpeting (yes, the previous owners put carpet in the bathroom) and started knocking tiles off the walls. It's oddly cathartic smashing tiles off the wall with a chisel and hammer — though the dogs (and likely the neighbors) don't appreciate the racket! With the help of my brother and his wife, we're hoping to get a lot more done on the work this weekend.
I'm still pretty mobile and able to help with the work, but I've found new limitations on what I can do. Still, we're making progress. I'll post pictures this weekend.
I'm very excited for us to be jumping in with both feet for our first real home project. I may need to be reminded of that in a couple days when I'm cursing the work, my sore back and lack of toilet access close to our bedroom!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Emotions ragin'

Having seen all the cliche depictions of pregnancy hormones in TV shows and movies, I wasn't sure what to expect from myself during these nine months. But I'd like to think I've remained somewhat level-headed through most of it so far.
I've had a few notable exceptions, including today when I woke up ready to cry for no apparent reason. I let some tears flow this morning (and Brian was baffled but very supportive). I thought I had things under control, but then I got to work and felt the waterworks coming on again. Luckily I did not cry in the office. And I'm feeling mostly better now. But it's very disconcerting to have these powerful emotional swells without being able to pinpoint the cause.
The only other real sad moment I've had during the pregnancy was somewhere in the first trimester. Brian was out to dinner with some friends but I had passed because I still felt too sick to eat much. I remember sitting in the living room, starving but unable to face food and feeling very sorry for myself. So I decided to have my mini-breakdown on the phone with my mom. She understood where I was coming from and made me feel better, which was a tough task at that point.
I hope my emotions settle down for the rest of the day because I'm exhausting myself!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Ok, first off, Dan is out of the hospital and in his own words: "Fine." He's getting more follow-up tests from his regular heart doctor, but for now he's back to normal. I'm so glad that he's feeling better.

Now for the race rundown. Brian and I had a great time in the inaugural Illinois marathon. Here's a picture of us at our friends' house, the Nuttersons, before the race. Brian is pointing to the youngest runner in our family.

Brian took off on his own at the start line because he was shooting for a personal best time, while I was just hoping to finish! We both hit our goals. Brian finished in 2:08 -- 10 minutes faster than his previous PR. And I finished in 2:24... not the fastest, but still about 10 seconds before my brother Ben... who was finishing the full marathon (in record time!). Oh well :) I should also note that Maggie and her boyfriend Chris ran the half on Saturday, too. So the family was well represented on this course!
It was so awesome finishing up on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium. And running through the U of I campus was really great. All in all, a very fun (but exhausting) day. I think baby and I are planning to tone down the running a bit over the next four months. I'm still gonna do some, but probably more walking and cross-training.
I was really happy and proud to get this race in! And Brian was great helping me train and being very supportive. I can't wait to tell the papaya all about his/her first half marathon someday!
p.s. couple pics from the finish line:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trying not to stress

I'll post more later about the weekend's race, which went really well for all three Wallheimers.

But just a quick note to let everyone know that my brother Dan is in the hospital. He was admitted yesterday when he went in with an elevated heart rate. Dan was born with a bum heart and had surgery twice as a baby. So he's never had a heart that works right. This problem would be relatively minor in a typical 30-year-old, but for Dan it's very worrisome. The doctors are still trying to figure out what's going on, so we don't know much yet.

I'm trying not to stress too much because I know it's not good for the baby, but that's easier said than done on this one. I'll post more when I know it. Just keep Dan (and his wife Jen) in your prayers for now.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green light

Saw the doctor today and she gave me the green light to run in the Illinois half marathon tomorrow. We saw Dr. Sam because Dr. George is on vacation (and we were advised to meet at least one other doctor in the practice in case I end up in labor after regular hours). Dr. Sam was a bit skeptical at first when I told her about the race, but when I explained that Dr. George has known about it for months she came around. I think she misunderstood when I said I'd be "running" the race... even though I've been running most of the distance during training, my pace is only slightly faster than someone could walk it! So I had no trouble complying when she advised that I not go too fast in the event :)

Other than that, the doctor said everything looks good with the baby. She examined the ultrasound pics and agreed that there were no red flags. And much to Brian's chagrin she did not slip up and tell us the baby's sex! (She said it might not even be noted in our file since we told the ultrasound tech we didn't want to find out... so it's truly a surprise!)
I weighed in at +14 pounds, which the doctor said is normal and fine. She said I'm making up for not gaining much weight at the beginning of the pregnancy.
Oh, and the baby's heartbeat was right around 142. It sounded beautiful, again!
That's it for now. Will post more this weekend after the big race!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Belly seesaw

While my waistline continues to expand, I have to give props to Brian for his recent success in shrinking his own.
Brian has been trying to eat healthier and stick with a workout routine since the start of the year. And he's had an easier time at his new job avoiding unhealthy snacks, i.e. stress eating. About a month ago Brian, ever the competitor, got extra motivation when he and friend began a "weight loss challenge."
So at the recent Month 1 weigh-in, Brian was down 9 lbs! And he's lost even more than that since the start of the year. I think something like 15-20 pounds. He's ecstatic!
Another contributor to Brian's success is the disappearance of alcohol from our regular routines. He still has the occasional beer (and one binge!), but for the most part he's tea-totaling like I am.
I've joked that he's going to give me a complex if his waist shrinks to smaller than mine, but really I'm his biggest champion in this effort. I've always loved him no matter what the scale says, but I also have worried about his health at times.
I can already tell that his energy level is up, and he's even more excited about exercise (as it gets a little easier).
Brian's shooting for a PR at the half marathon this weekend. I just know he's gonna do it. And while baby and I are happily lagging behind in the race, we'll be cheering him on!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The banana baby has graduated to papaya status for week 22 — and for the rest of month five. No more new fruit updates until month six :(
The baby is roughly one pound now and is developing sleep cycles. It's also clearly listening to what Brian and I are saying, along with all of the barking and playing the dogs are doing. Depending on how good its hearing is, I wonder what the baby thinks of the police scanner I sit near at work. We may end up with a future cop on our hands since it's no doubt learning what all the 10-50s, 10-55s and other call signals are. Or maybe it's tuning it all out like I too often do!

On a side note (haha), the pain I've been having along my right side is a lot better today. I had no pain during a two mile run this morning, and I think it may have helped loosen everything up. So I'm feeling better now heading into Saturday's race. But I'll still check with the doctor on Friday about everything. I'm so glad to be moving around without all that pain!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A pain in my... round ligament

I've been in some pain the past couple days. Most of it has been on my right side, in the groin and up my right hip and side.
After doing some online research and then checking with the nurse in my doctor's office, I'm pretty sure it's from round ligament pain. That is pain caused by the ligaments in my pelvis stretching as the baby (and my uterus) grows.
They say it can be a sharp stabbing pain or a dull ache. I'm definitely feeling more of the stabbing variety of the pain. It's all considered normal "growing pains," but it's not fun! I notice it most when I'm getting up or sitting down (which is NOT good given the number of visits I'm making to the bathroom...)
I'm also frustrated because this is the first week I've had such noticeable discomfort, and it's the week leading up to the Illinois half marathon. I've been training for so long that I'd really like to see it through, but I'm not going to push my body too far.
We go to the doctor on Friday for the monthly checkup, so I'll see how I'm feeling and ask her advice.
For now, though, I've been advised to use heat and Tylenol to relieve the pain. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pregnancy perk

It finally happened. I was able to use one of the parking spots reserved for expectant mothers!
Brian and I have been hunting for the spots ever since I qualified, but we haven't seen any in the places we've been running errands.
But I came across one on a quick trip to the grocery store last night. It couldn't have been a better time, either, since it was pouring down rain. I'm not sure if others in the parking lot believed I was really an expectant mother as they watched me jump over puddles on the way into the store — but who cares! I know I fit the bill :)
I returned home triumphant with my parking story, and Brian declared we are only shopping at that grocery store for the remainder of the pregnancy.
After all, besides a slightly closer parking spot at certain stores... what else are we going to get out of these 9 months?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Banana baby

The baby is banana-sized (but hopefully not shaped) this week! He/she is about 10.5 inches long now and about 12-13 ounces. I've been feeling the baby stretch out those legs and arms all week.
Another cool update this week is that the banana baby's tastebuds are developing. So he or she is able to taste some of the foods I'm eating, and some studies show the baby will retain a taste for things they experience in the womb. I'm already picturing Brian sneaking garlic cloves into my food so he'll have another garlic fanatic in the family!
I'm happy, especially on hearing this week's update, that I'm able to eat normally again. The weeks of nausea and food aversions near the beginning were brutal. Plus, I like that Brian and I eat a pretty diverse menu — and hopefully will pass along those food interests to the little one. And, who am I kidding, I just like to eat these days!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby, not puppy

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a total dog fanatic. But I fear my love of dogs has gotten a little out of hand.
Last night I had my second dream of the pregnancy where I envision the birth... sort of.
The actual labor part was fuzzy — apparently it's not something I'm ready to face yet :) But I clearly recall the nurse coming to put the baby in my arms. Except the "baby" was actual a tiny puppy. Very cute, and I was very excited in my dream, but I definitely woke up a little freaked out.
I want a human baby! I wish my subconscious would get the memo.